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Fit For Life: Don’t be a turkey…

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Matt Espeut

It's Thanksgiving, but I am going to stick to my guns. I am making and bringing to my family a Brussels Sprout platter and a sugar free dessert. I won't have mashed potatoes or stuffing. I am not going to eat badly on that day. Right?

Ha!  I bet I had you going now, didn't’t I?  You’re thinking that because I am a trainer this would be true, but everything I just wrote is really just one big lie. Because I am going to cheat and enjoy doing it - and you should also. It doesn't make sense to stress yourself out and ruin your day. You are spending time with family and should enjoy it. What? You think that a personal trainer who always preaches eating healthy is telling you to go ahead and cheat? Yes! That’s right. Because you are lying to yourself if you think you can make it through a holiday with such delicious food at hand – like my favorite - homemade apple pie - and not cheat. I am not going to fight homemade pecan pie, homemade sweet potato casserole, or any other delicious dessert item I may encounter. I am going to enjoy this day and not be concerned about over indulging. But, as with most good things, they come to an end. So, by the end of the day, it will. And here are some tips to get you through that day, without totally losing it, and find your way back on track the next day.


At dinnertime, fill your plate with vegetables and turkey first then, add the sweet starchy carbs after. You will eat fewer calories and still enjoy the heavy stuff. After dinner, wait a few minutes before having dessert. Stand up and stretch out, maybe go for a walk. Watch some football. Then, for dessert, have small pieces, and just sample the spread. Don't take home leftovers or extra dessert. Do not let this binge carry over until Monday. If you take leftovers home, take the healthy stuff like vegetables and turkey and not those desserts that will be on your counter, and in your presence after Thursday.

The “day after” workout!

Lift some weights. Go to Providence Fit Body Boot Camp for a fat burning muscle- building workout. Your muscles will feed off the glycogen from all the carbs and sugar you ate. You may get the best workout you’ve ever had. Whatever you do, do not let yourself fall into a rut. Do not throw your arms in the air and say I’ll let the weekend go and start again on Monday. You must get back on track the very next day.

Have a plan. Remember how long it took to accomplish results, and how important that’s been to you, so be careful you do not throw those results away in a few days. Let's be realistic folks, you may try but it is unlikely to stay on your nutrition plan for the holidays. But you can control the damage and keep weight gain to a minimum. You do that by getting back on track and continue your routine. Work out on Thursday, if you can, but definitely on Friday. At least you will burn a lot of the calories you consumed. Remember Friday is a weekday, but many people have it off - but do not consider it an extension of Thursday. Thanksgiving is a one-day holiday. So, when it’s over, resume eating like you do on your weekly routine, and maintaining your healthy habits. Hope these tips will help you, and keep you from sabotaging your progress. Enjoy the day, everyone – be thankful for family and friends. And for your health! 

Matt Espeut has worked as a personal trainer for almost 20 years with clients ranging in age from 14 to 86. His focus is on overall health, strength, and functional conditioning. Holistic health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all his programs. Matt works in private and small group training available at your home or office location or at gym facilities. Matt offers his services to everyone wanting to be more fit and healthy, overweight young people, youth/collegiate athletes, and seniors. Matt has worked and trained at several facilities in the Providence area. Email Matt: [email protected]; check out his website  or find him on Facebook at Matt Espeut or on Twitter @MattEspeut. Call 401-453-3200 for pre-opening information.


Related Slideshow: New England’s Healthiest States 2013

The United Health Foundation recently released its 2013 annual reoprt: America's Health Rankings, which provides a comparative state by state analysis of several health measures to provide a comprehensive perspective of our nation's health issues. See how the New England states rank in the slides below.



All Outcomes Rank: Outcomes represent what has already occurred, either through death, disease or missed days due to illness. In America's Health Rankings, outcomes include prevalence of diabetes, number of poor mental or physical health days in last 30 days, health disparity, infant mortality rate, cardiovascular death rate, cancer death rate and premature death. Outcomes account for 25% of the final ranking.

Determinants Rank: Determinants represent those actions that can affect the future health of the population. For clarity, determinants are divided into four groups: Behaviors, Community and Environment, Public and Health Policies, and Clinical Care. These four groups of measures influence the health outcomes of the population in a state, and improving these inputs will improve outcomes over time. Most measures are actually a combination of activities in all four groups. 

Diabetes Rank: Based on percent of adults who responded yes to the question "Have you ever been told by a doctor that you have diabetes?" Does not include pre-diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy.

Smoking Rank: Based on percentage of adults who are current smokers (self-report smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke).

Obesity Rank: Based on percentage of adults who are obese, with a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher.

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/

Prev Next

6. Rhode Island

Overall Rank: 19

Outcomes Rank: 30

Determinants Rank: 13

Diabetes Rank: 26

Smoking Rank: 14

Obesity Rank: 13



1. Low prevalence of obesity

2. High immunization coverage among adolescents

3. Ready availability of primary care physicians  


1.High rate of drug deaths

2. High rate of preventable hospitalizations

3. Large disparity in heath status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/RI

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5. Maine

Overall Rank: 16

Outcomes Rank: 25

Determinants Rank: 12

Diabetes Rank: 23

Smoking Rank: 29

Obesity Rank: 28



1. Low violent crime rate

2. Low percentage of uninsured population

3. Low prevalence of low birthweight  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2.High rate of cancer deaths

3. Limited availability of dentists

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/ME

Prev Next

4. Connecticut

Overall Rank: 7

Outcomes Rank: 15

Determinants Rank: 4

Diabetes Rank: 16

Smoking Rank: 4

Obesity Rank: 12



1. Low prevalence of smoking

2. Low incidence of infectious diseases

3. High immunization coverage among children & adolescents  


1. Moderate prevalence of binge drinking

2. Low high school graduation rate

3. Large disparity in health status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/CT

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3. New Hampshire

Overall Rank: 5

Outcomes Rank: 7

Determinants Rank: 5

Diabetes Rank: 16

Smoking Rank: 11

Obesity Rank: 22



1. Low percentage of children in poverty

2. High immunization coverage among children

3. Low infant mortality rate  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2.High incidence of pertussis infections

3. Low per capita public health funding

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/NH

Prev Next

2. Massachusetts

Overall Rank: 4

Outcomes Rank: 14

Determinants Rank: 3

Diabetes Rank: 10

Smoking Rank: 7

Obesity Rank: 2



1. Low prevalence of obesity

2. Low percentage of uninsured population

3. Ready availability of primary care physicians & dentists  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2. High rate of preventable hospitalizations

3. Large disparity in health status by educational attainment

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/MA

Prev Next

1. Vermont

Overall Rank: 2

Outcomes Rank: 12

Determinants Rank: 1

Diabetes Rank: 4

Smoking Rank: 9

Obesity Rank: 5



1. High rate of high school graduation

2. Low violent crime rate

3. Low percentage of uninsured population  


1. High prevalence of binge drinking

2. Low immunization coverage among children

3. High incidence of pertussis infections

Source: http://www.americashealthrankings.org/VT


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